Postal services have made the world a much better place. Sure you can go online, download programs, forms, even buy a plane ticket or order a book, but the item still needs to be shipped to your place of residence, P.O. Box, or wherever. Fact is, we couldnít exist in a world without postal services.
Networks and services of people dedicated to transferring messages and items have been around since ancient times. In classical Greece and China, various systems of messengers and runners were employed. News was transported between a network of stations connected by horseback by the ancient Persians. And the Romans had a system not to different from the Persians. In fact, the word post is a derivative of the word ponere (position), the Latin term for these stations.
Though these horseback rider based systems seem almost ancient, they were used up until more recent times with the well-known Pony Express in the United States. Started up in 1860, the Pony Express carried messages between the coasts in about ten days, a drastic improvement from 3 weeks. However, despite its success, the Pony Express was discontinued in October of 1861 because of the completion of the telegraph line.
After the Pony Express came trains, huge shipments of goods were transported by railroad, eventually, the U.S. Post Office even hired pilots to fly mail to more remote places. By the 1930ís, every little town had carrier service, and by 1960, the demand for services grew so great, that the Post Office was forced to develop more efficient systems for sorting and coding mail, including the neighborhood Zip Code System. In the 1970ís, the U.S. Post Office went under private operation and was renamed the U.S. Postal Service (USPS).
From transferring ancient messages on papyrus scrolls, to shipping modern freight, postal systems will forever have their place in our world. Though we can send messages through e-mail, and make phone calls anywhere in the world, itís impossible to send packages through wire. Besides, not everyone has a computer, telephone, or television, but everyone has an address.
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